Maddie was the snuggliest baby. I know as her mom, I am biased, but I remember her favorite NICU nurse telling me the same thing. When you consider how many babies she’s snuggled because of her job, I’d say that’s a pretty big compliment coming from a baby expert.
I was worried she’d outgrow snuggling, but she never did.
We never planned on being co-sleepers, but it ended up that way. She DID sleep in her crib, but once she started moving in her sleep I was way too paranoid to leave her alone on the random nights she needed oxygen. So we put the oxygen rocket next to our bed, and she slept in between us. Whenever she’d roll over, I’d adjust her nasal cannula so it wasn’t wrapped around her body. Of course, she wasn’t on oxygen all that much, but we still slept with her in our bed. Mike and I would talk about moving her back to her crib, but we kept putting it off. We liked having that little warm snuggle bug in bed with us.
Last December, I was under the weather. I felt bad enough that I knew I needed some help with Maddie during the day, so we trekked to my parents’ house. I laid down on the floor (sometimes the floor is the most comfortable place), and the most wonderful thing happened. Maddie crawled over to me, pressed her little body against mine, and snuggled in for a nap. It was one of the greatest moments, my heart swelled to at least five times its normal size.
I miss waking up with my little girl sleeping next to me. I want to roll over and pull her into me, spooning her growing body. I yearn to cup her feet in my hand, feeling her toes wiggle at her dreams.
I am so glad she was your little “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.” I am so glad you have those precious memories of Maddie and conversely, I am so sad that is all you have now.
The photo of her curled up with you on the floor is just magic.
Love to you and Mike. Wish I could send more than that xxx
.-= Seraphim´s last blog ..You like me…. =-.
She was the sweetest thing your beautiful Maddie. I love the photo was Bampa
.-= Bec´s last blog ..How to: Keep a steady flow of posts =-.
I love the last picture. Thinking about you!
The photos sure show what a little cuddle bug she was. And this is another beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your memories and photos. (((Hugs))) to you guys.
She is an incredible snugglebug =) And always dressed so cool! Love the blondie tshirt =)
I will never understand why this had to happen to you. Hugs
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..Using incredible cuteness to make up for lack of sleep =-.
This post really hits home with me as my daughter, who is 4 yrs old, is a snuggle bunny too. She would sleep in the middle of the bed with us every night if she could. She always starts out in her own bed, but 8/10 times at some point during the night, she’ll tip toe out of hers and want to come sleep next to me. And I do mean right.next.to.me. Not her Daddy….she’s a total Mama snuggle baby. When she’s sick or has had a bad dream, I always let her stay. But other times in the past I’ve often brought her back to her own bed, cause otherwise I really don’t get much rest during the night. But since your beloved Maddie has passed, I let my daughter stay. I now know that she won’t always be there to snuggle with me for whatever reason, and I’ve got to soak up all those moments while I can even if I’m looking and feeling like a zombie the next day.
I miss your Maddie so much for you!!! I want so badly for her to come back to you too.
Hugs, hugs and more hugs to you!
.-= Kathryn´s last blog ..Fun at the Baltic Sea =-.
catherine lucas says:
In her short time here she at least had enough cuddles and snuggles. I hope this is some kind of comfort to you and Mike and who ever was around her…
.-= catherine lucas´s last blog ..Going to Town =-.
I’m glad you did was felt best in your heart and let her sleep with you guys, I think that’s awesome and I am glad you had those wonderful moments with beautiful little maddie.
What a sweet story -she was used to sleeping with Mommy, and if you were going to sleep on the floor, well, then so be it! I have to tell you, I can’t get enough of the pictures of Maddie. She is so stunning.
xo from CT,
.-= amanda´s last blog ..RAIN! I mean, VACATION! =-.
Ooooh I love that photo of you both Heather! And I love the blondie shirt too… what a little spunk Maddie is!
Oh, some people are so against co sleeping, but when you try it once, who wants to go back? And it’s not just you who benefitted. Imagine how Maddie felt, happy and secure snuggled in between the two she loved most.
I think this is another one of those gifts you and Mike often speak of (like being able to stay home with Maddie, each of you at different points in the journey together). So, while you didn’t plan it, I’m sure it happened for a reason. To give you more time (snuggling with her) than you would dream you’d need.
Still not enough time, though, I know.
.-= Casey´s last blog ..Artichoked =-.
Joe @ Irrational Dad says:
Tyler has never really liked snuggling. He’s always “on the move”. I feel that I’m really missing out on something special here. Every time I see a picture of Maddie lying on Mike’s chest, I get jealous.
.-= Joe @ Irrational Dad´s last blog ..Flowers =-.
Karen Sugarpants says:
Beautiful post Heather…they all are. xo
Scary Mommy says:
I love that last picture– you both look so peaceful and content. I hope that someday, you can feel a fraction of that again…
.-= Scary Mommy´s last blog ..If you can’t beat ‘em… =-.
Lindsay from Florida says:
I have seen that last picture of the two of you before, and it is breath-taking. I’m not a mom yet, but it’s as though I can FEEL what being one is all about in the contentment and love in both your faces. “I’m sorry” just doesn’t cover it at all, does it?
dysfunctional mom says:
I love that picture of the two of you, and the one with her and Bampa. So very sweet.
.-= dysfunctional mom´s last blog ..The Best Father I Know =-.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
I agree with Karen Sugarpants – beautiful post.
.-= Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog ..Canine-bilism =-.
Fairly Odd Mother says:
Oh, my heart. Some of the nicest memories I have of my children are when we slept together. I so wish Maddie were still there to cuddle with you. That last photo is simply gorgeous.
jenni williams says:
Trying to type with my eyes welled up with tears, but not out of sadness. My heart still breaks for you and Mike everyday, but I am happy you were blessed with such a wonderful, snugglie baby. The pictures are beautiful.
.-= jenni williams´s last blog ..Well, I Never Syndrome =-.
So sweet Heather…I know you miss her, we all do but of course,,,could never miss her as much as you & Mike. Sending you warm. many blessings and endless memories that make you….smile.
What an incredibly precious photo of mother and daughter. It is so cruel she is not here. I hope she’s safe and happy with my baby girl somewhere.
.-= Sally´s last blog ..Grand plans unfulfilled =-.
I have goosebumps all over my body….I remember going through your flicker photos right after Maddie passed on and my emotions could not get pass the photo of Bampa and Maddie asleep together. I always thought, Bampa is going through so much pain, although we are always focused on you and Mike, I think about your parents, and especially Bampa as there were so many photos of those two. You could just see how close their relationship was. I hope Bampa is doing ok. I worry about him and his silent grief. He looks like such a strong guy, with a heart of gold….NO FAIR
I am so glad you have these beautiful photos. The one of you and Maddie is just breathtaking.
ali (adil320) says:
There is nothing better in this world than a snuggly baby. I’m so glad that she loved on you all the time like that, and left you with such sweet images to remember.
I wish wholeheartedly that she was still here with you.
Love to you, Mike, Rigby and your parents.
I love the pictures and they made me cry again! I bet you do miss the snuggling.. How can you not.. You can tell she loved her family so much..
My heart breaks for you all.
What a peaceful, beautiful picture of you and your girl. I know that your arms ache to hold and snuggle her again. I hope with all my heart that you will feel a measure of peace again someday.
If the wishes and empathy of your readers could soothe your heartbreak, you would be fortified for a lifetime. We are thinking of you, Mike and Maddie, always.
Beautiful! Just, beautiful!
All of those snuggling pics are so cute–but that last one is the sweetest ever! I’m so glad you had all those cuddly moments with her.
I love that picture of the two of you. You both look so peaceful. I’m glad you have those memories and pictures to take you back to those snuggly moments.
Thank you for sharing your little snuggle bug with us. (((hugs)))
Kristen McD says:
DesignHER Momma says:
Having a sunggly baby truly is a gift to be cherished. Neither of my girls are much for snuggling, and it’s kinda sad.
When I look at these pictures, I can see so much love and warmth. Love all the pictures!
Adventures In Babywearing says:
Your memories of her and photos and words- they are still so alive and growing.
Love the last picture of the 2 of you sleeping.
.-= AmazingGreis´s last blog ..I &hearts Faces – Week 24 =-.
Wonderful, beautiful Maddie and her amazing Mom. Still teaching me something abot being a good Mom every day. I will cherish those cuddle naps a little bit more from now on.
Thank you for sharing. I love the last picture with you two sleeping!
(((HUGS))) from Florida
I love the picture of the two of you sleeping.
My heart just aches for you and even though I don’t know you, I want to take the pain away.
.-= Darcel´s last blog ..Marriage Monday The Proposal =-.
Alexandra :) says:
Aren’t you glad now that you and Mike never made her sleep without you or made yourselves sleep without her??? So sweet.
Yes, sometimes the floor IS the most comfortable place.
Oh Heather… that last photo is priceless! What a sweet, sweet girl. (((Heather)))
nic @mybottlesup says:
oh heather…. that last photo….
i yearn for that for you.
.-= nic @mybottlesup´s last blog ..Don’t hate. Just don’t. =-.
Her eyes are simply stunning. I’ve always thought so I wanted to tell you that.
The unguarded picture of you both sleeping is too precious for words.
She is so precious…it is so unfair.
I think you’re right about the snuggliness being rare and special. Mine started out that way but once she got mobile wanted no more cuddles, at least not from her mama. I’m glad Maddie never grew out of snuggling.
Dana Zap says:
Those are the most endearing pictures ever! The one of you two snuggling gave me goosebumps. I love looking at pictures of Maddie.
.-= Dana Zap´s last blog ..Thu, May 28, 2009 =-.
Long time reader, first time poster! What a special little girl! What perfect parents you were to her. You know Maddie wouldn’t let you follow all of the rules of parenting!!! I’m so glad you let her sleep with you. This picture of you two snuggled up is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your memories of her with us. Your in my daily thought and prayers.
that is such a precious pictures of the two of you….God Bless
.-= Nina´s last blog ..Just my thought….. =-.
Chrisie Ward says:
Your Maddie and My Taylor could be twins. My heart hurts so badly for you. Hugs.
Andrea's Sweet Life says:
Those snuggles…. how wonderful that you got to have so many of them. I’m glad you guys let her sleep with you. You got a million more snuggles than you would have if she’d been sleeping in her crib all that time!
She was so special.
.-= Andrea’s Sweet Life´s last blog ..Funny, I Don’t FEEL Cleaner =-.
Sweet photos, what a snuggle bug!
.-= Debby´s last blog ..FOR YOUR TEARS =-.
It makes me smile to hear you talk about her feet. I wish you could nibble on her toes.
Love you xoxo
.-= AMomTwoBoys´s last blog ..Father’s Day =-.
Those pictures are so heart warming and yet so heart breaking! God Bless.
Courtney in New York.
.-= Courtney´s last blog ..Weekend Wrap-Up =-.
snuggles are one of the greatest gifts of parenting. i so wish you could snuggle with your maddie right now. another giant hug to you today. xo
Donna P says:
Just so beautiful.
You two are so beautiful.
She is a so beautiful!
cindy w says:
All of those pictures are so sweet, but the last one of the two of you is my favorite.
.-= cindy w´s last blog ..because sometimes there IS such a thing as a geographical cure =-.
I love hearing these stories Heather.
Heather, I, just, fuck. I’m so sorry. I love you and I’m sorry.
.-= Becky´s last blog ..Sometimes The Best Thing You Can Say About The Day Is “Hey, At Least I Didn’t Have To Wear The Pizza Suit.” Part Number B. =-.
I love that last pic of you two together. Just precious. She was soo loved and loved so much by so many people.
Her tiny footprints have been left on mine and many people’s hearts and we are forever changed by your little girl. She touched more people in her lifetime than most do in their entire lives.
She was a truly beautiful child and completely embodied all of your and Mike’s great qualities.
To this day, whenever my kids & I watch Mary Poppins (which is just about every night) I think about you and Maddie when “I like to laugh a lot” comes on. And many times I have to leave the room in tears, because it is just not right that that beautiful little girl is not here.
My forever condolences to you and Mike and I wish you both peace and healing.
Love, Jenn in CA
Katie in WI says:
Some babies are just snugglers — Maddie was obviously in a league of her own.
Your daughter, snuggled as close as she can get, helping you feel better, is just the most precious picture. I’ll be thinking of it all day.
We certainly didn’t intend on co-sleeping either but I just haven’t been willing to sleep without her. I’m so afraid that something could happen in the night & I wouldn’t be able to hear her or get to her soon enough.
I’m so glad that you have those memories of waking up to her.
.-= Mindy´s last blog ..When she sleeps… =-.
sherry pyle says:
What a dear photo of you sleeping together.
I wish I could change life sometimes and make all the pain and hurt to leave.
Of course I can’t but I can try to say words to encourage you.
Thank you for sharing her even though your heart is broken.
Thank you for being so brave.
I appreciate your honesty when you share how you really feel.
My heart also breaks for your loss. I know its true that none of us truly understand.
But may the fact that we care and want to help be special to you.
May her memory give you strength to
face each day even when the hole is so large you can’t imagine how the day will be.
May God bless you with a special love and peace
Taking one day at a time and giving yourself time to heal.
Such a beautiful little angel that is loved by sooo many people.
Thank you for sharing her with us.
I so believe in the kindness of humanity and it is so evident in how many love and care for you and hurt with you.
Maddie liked to snuggle because she knew how
very much you love her.
Life can be so hard to understand and by standing strong as you do is such a great example.
The pictures are beautiful.
As a Mother of a 22 month old little girl, I am heartbroken for you Heather! Words cannot express how much I feel for you! I hope that you are able to find some sort of peace one day, and able to close your eyes, and dream of your beautiful girl as well! Thank you for sharing with us! My heart goes out to you and Mike, and I am betting that Maddie is snuggling with your Grandmother this very second!
She is the CUTEST most ADORABLE snuggle bug EVER! She loved you ALL soooooo much!
Oh, what a beautiful little snugglebug! Her SKIN! It’s just so beautiful, even in the pictures…I had such an urge to reach out and stroke my computer monitor. I am so glad you got to have these special snuggly moments with Maddie.
Mary from WA says:
Such sweet pictures & memories…I’m so sorry your little snuggle bunny isn’t there with you physically any more. But so grateful that you have these wonderful memories & know she is with you in spirit. That picture of the 2 of you was absolutely precious! Thanks for sharing…
.-= Mary from WA´s last blog ..Oh! That Girl! =-.
What a great picture of you two!
God, my heart breaks for you. You tell wonderful stories about her. god bless
lost indie says:
Some of my favorite pictures of Maddie are the ones when she is sleeping. She is so beautiful it’s surreal.
Heaven’s never seen anything as magical as Maddie….
So very sweet, Heather, so very sweet.
One of the many things that struck me about Maddie is that she never seemed afraid of strangers, particularly of being held by them. When you plopped her on my lap at the Mommy Movie, she didn’t make a peep about it. She was comfortable everywhere with everyone.
Love the pics! Love babies snuggling! Thinking of you and sending you hugs! XO
She is so precious! Its the little things we tend to miss the most! Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories with us.
Ms. Moon says:
What a blessing that you know you gave her all the snuggles she wanted. Aren’t you glad you didn’t use that crib?
.-= Ms. Moon´s last blog ..Fever Dreams =-.
so so happy yr writing. keep writing. the photos are so bittersweet- gorgeous. Keep writing.
Beautiful post, beautiful photos.
Agreed that she is snuggling with your grandma! ;p
I remember the first time you posted that photo of the two of you. it still makes me smile. she really was an expert snuggler, eh?
So beautiful. We co-sleep and it is the best….just how you described, always talking about moving him to his crib, but just can’t b/c we love having him near. I’m glad you have such wonderful memories, but I really wish she was still here. I don’t understand why this happened, and it breaks my heart.
Sarah @ Ordinary Days says:
What a wonderful memory.
.-= Sarah @ Ordinary Days´s last blog ..I Wanna Go Back =-.
Your post just reminds me to not beat myself up when I let my little 11 month old in bed with my husband and I in the middle of the night, anytime he wakes up and wants to cuddle. So many people have told me not to get into the habit, but I care less what others think, because to me, nothing feels better than having my little guy pressed up against me, feeling safe and warm.
I am certain you and Mike feel blessed that you had all of those nights with her beside you. May she continue to be with you at night in your dreams. Thinking of you both always.
A hug across the internet from a stranger touched by your beautiful Maddie. I am so very sorry for your loss.
I love the picture of you and Maddie sleeping together it is so sweet. I wake up every morning with both my chickens in bed with me and I don’t regret it.
I am so glad you have happy memories of your sweet Maddie in bed snuggling with you and Mike… (( hugs)))
.-= Jodee´s last blog ..Siblings…. =-.
what sweet pictures. i’m glad you got that nap with her.
.-= MommyNamedApril´s last blog ..A Tribute… =-.
What a gift she gave to all of you with her snuggliness – she must have been just yummy. I love the photo of her snuggled up against her mama.
The picture of you and Maddie is PRECIOUS. I can feel her warmth on the left side of my face and smell her hair just by looking at the picture.
(The picture of she and Bampa is pretty dang fantastic too…ah hell…all of the pictures of Maddie are fantastic!)
What a sweet picture… the 2 of you together.
Mary @ Holy Mackerel says:
Keep those memories close to your heart.
Our son is 11 now, and he still ends up in our bed some time at night. And he still sticks his not-so-tiny feet under me, just like he did when he was a newborn.
I know how fortunate I am to still be able to experience this, although he wakes me up and it drives me crazy. I am so lucky.
.-= Mary @ Holy Mackerel´s last blog ..I Will Always Love You, Even When I Don’t Like You Very Much =-.
Thank god you did sleep with her, because now you will always have had that precious time together.
OMG…I can’t even think of a thing to say to you. Except that I have a 50 lb rock stuck in my chest over that last photo.
You poor, sweet thing…all that pain you have, I wish I could do something…
That last picture is priceless.
Tara in The Fort says:
That picture of the two of you sleeping together is just precious. I’m so glad you had all those special moments to share with her.
.-= Lillian´s last blog ..reasons…. =-.
That is the most beautiful picture of the 2 of you!! Absolutely adorable and what a fantastic memory!! She is a beautiful angel! Thank you for sharing your heart, It means more than you know
I love this picture, you are both so beautiful in it. I, too, love co-sleeping (although my boys are over it in a pretty short time, 7-8 mo). I can’t believe she fell asleep next to her grandpa like that, too cute! You have a lot of really great photos, I hope it’s a bit of a comfort? (I know it’s not much considering the circumstances but I hope a litte bit.)
I have never posted before, but have been reading for a while.
I love this post; however, my heart just aches for you. The photos are beautiful. I wish I had something profound to say, but nothing seems to do. Just know that you are in thoughts of people near and far.
So much yearning, Heather. So hard. Beautiful memory…. Wishing you Maddie snuggles in your dreams…. ((hugs))
.-= Haley-O´s last blog ..Manic Monday =-.
These photos really tug at your heart. Such sweet, sweet photos.
Wishing you peace…..and hoping Maddie snuggles you in your dreams.
.-= Coloradolady´s last blog ..Garden Bounty: Easy Refrigerator Pickles =-.
I love the photos of Maddie sleeping, but also where she is snuggling with her eyes wide open (sleepy cuddlers are one thing, but those who cuddle awake are awesome.) She looks so alert, like she is drinking in every moment and totally focussed on the person she is snuggling with.
thinking of you, Mike, your parents and Maddie every day…
I love, love, love the last picture of you and your cuddlebug!! That picture is absolutely priceless! Once again, thank you so much for sharing your Maddie with us…strangers in Iowa. I hurt for you! Hugs to you and Mike!!
Deidre’s comment about Bampa made me tear up … I have often wondered how your parents are going. They must have their hearts broken.
They must be two wonderful people, to have raised such an amazing person like you, Heather.
Love to you. Hope you are sleeping. XO
.-= eden´s last blog ..VLog: Like the Von Trapp Family Singers, except we are dancing to the Reservoir Dogs Soundtrack =-.
Mama Kat says:
That last photo is just precious. I think choosing to co sleep (or just allowing it to happen rather) was such a blessing for you guys. I’m constantly walking my 4 year old back to her room, but I venture to guess if I knew my time with her were limited I would be treasuring those moments instead.
Tonight I’m going to roll over and pull her into me, and spoon her growing body. I will cup her feet in my hand and feel her toes wiggle at her dreams. Because if she leaves this world I don’t want to ever regret pushing away those moments.
I am sure by looking back, you and Mike are glad you decided to let her sleep with you in her bed. Just think, that gave you more precious time with her.
I love the picture of her sleeping with her Bampa…that shows how tired both can get! And of course, the one of her napping with you on the floor is priceless.
Hugs from TX
I love that photo of you sleeping with Maddie. She looks so peaceful and content snuggled up against her mama That is a beautiful memory, and it’s so awsome that someone snapped the picture to capture the moment.
Nice memories. I am sorry you cannot have more, but she is snuggling with you I am sure of it.
.-= Jenn´s last blog ..If only we could sleep =-.
I understand fully. My youngest was a snuggly baby. In fact, I just posted a blog about it.
I think about you and Maddie every day. I know she is heaven smiling down on you and Mike. You will see her again some day.
I also wanted to add…I think your choice of co-sleep was perfectly fine. That is a choice I believe should be left up to the parents, not Dr. Phil.
My youngest slept in our bed until she was a toddler. I cannot tell you the peace it brought me knowing my baby was OK during the night. And we bonded more than we would have if she had been in her crib.
You made the right decision, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Maria Delgado says:
My heart aches for your family.
lisa wood says:
What a priceless photo of you and Maddie snuggled together. I think those moments are just so precious, and to have photos of those times makes it double special. So wish Maddie was still here for you to tickle her toes:)
Take care gorgeous and stay strong. Love you guys xxx
Katie - PeanutSprout says:
I love reading your sweet Maddie posts, even though they make me cry every time. Such lovely moments that you share with us.
My little guy is 19 months old, born around the same time as Maddie, and reading your blog helps me to remember each and every day how precious he is and to enjoy every snuggle, cuddle, giggle, trouble-making moment, etc.
Thank you for being so open and sharing.
I feel wrong in saying this but reading this post has reminded me not to take for granted these moments with my girls.
I’m so sorry for your pain, it is just not fair.
.-= Jacquie´s last blog ..Almost missed it =-.
The last photo in the series, of you sleeping with your baby girl- is the most profound Ive seen yet.
I will keep you in my thoughts in prayers.
You’re so beautiful.
Happy Birthday, honey.
.-= VDog´s last blog ..June 27th Radio Show: Bloghopping With 704 =-.
What great pictures.
I haven’t seen one of you mom and dad with Maddie yet. They are all so beautiful. She was such a cutie.
I don’t blame you for missing her every moment of every day. After reading your blog I miss her.
I am so glad you have so much to remember her by.
She was such a sweet baby girl.
Praying for you always
My heart breaks. I have a 10 month old daughter, and we co-sleep. We didn’t plan it either. She has seizures, and I use this as an excuse to keep her in the bed with us. But I just like her laying beside me. I’ll be prayin for you and your family…